Political Crisis in Venezuela


AFP / Luis Robayo

Javier Sarache, Multimedia Editor

On January 23, Juan Guaido, opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela, has declared himself the acting president, sparking demonstrations of both support and protest.

Venezuelans have been dealing with a combination of a collapsing economy, hyperinflation, poor security, and now a political constitutional crisis.

Recently, Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro backed off an ultimatum to kick out U.S. Embassy staff.

Maduro took office on January 10th but more than a dozen countries in the region including the U.S. say his government is not legitimate. His election last year was presumed to be fraudulent. After Maduro became president, a ruling took place by the supreme court saying that the full national assembly was illegitimate.

Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Britain gave ­Maduro eight days to call new elections, vowing that otherwise, they would fully support Juan Guaido, now supported by the United States and a host of Latin American countries.

In response to Guaido’s declaration, President Trump tweeted, “The citizens of Venezuela have suffered too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime. I have now recognized the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the interim president of Venezuela. ”

More than 120 people died over several months of violent protest in 2017. Well over 3 million people have fled Venezuela over the past few years and a little over a million are expected to this year as a result of the country’s political crisis.